Alferd A. Cunningham DD-752 - History

Alferd A. Cunningham DD-752 - History

Alferd A. Cunningham DD-752

Alfred A. Cunnigham

(DD-752: dp. 2,200; 1. 376'6"; b. 40'10"; dr. 14'5"; s. 34.2 k.; cpl. 345; a. 6 5", 12 40mm., 20 20mm., 6 dep., 2 act., 10 21" tt.; cl. Allen M. Sumner)

Alfred A. Cunningham (DD-752) was laid down on 23 February 1944 at Staten Island N.Y., by the Bethlehem Steel Co., launched on 3 August 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Alfred A. Cunningham, the widow of Lt. Col. Cunningham; and commissioned on 23 November 1944, Comdr. Floyd B. T. Myhre in command.

Following shakedown training out of Bermuda, Alfred A. Cunningham returned to New York on 17 January 1945 for postshakedown availability. Proceeding to Norfolk soon thereafter the destroyer spent the next three months operating in the Chesapeake Bay area as a training ship for prospective destroyer crews. Here the ship introduced hundreds of trainees to life on board a destroyer, engaging in gunnery exercises, damage control drills, and maneuvering practice.

Following a brief availability for repairs and alterations at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway on 7 May, and rendezvoused with the new heavy cruiser Chicogo (CA-136) off Brown Shoals, Delaware Bay, and proceeded with that ship to Chesapeake Bay for gunnery exercises. The two warships then steamed to Guantanamo Bay thence to Pananna transiting the isthmian waterway on 18 May, and arrived at Pearl llarbor on 31 May. Over the next two weeks, Alfred A. Cunningham remained in Hawaiian waters, undergoing an availability alongside Black Hawk (AD-9) and carrying out training.

On 13 June, the destroyer joined Task Group (TG) 12.4 and sailed for the western Pacific. A week later, while en route Alfred A. Cunningham screened carriers launching air strikes on Japanese-held Wake Island. The group arrived at Leyte on 26 June.

Alfred A. Cunningham got underway the following day for Okinawa, and while en route to her destination conducted a depth charge attack on what she evaluated as a "good" submarine contact, but with negative results. Shortly after arriving at Okinawa on 29 June, she served on radar picket duty off the island's southwest coast. From 1 July until the end of hostilities she served on patrol, escort, and screening duty in waters surrounding the Ryukyus. Following Japan's capitulation, Alfred A. Cunnimgham remained in the Far East, operating off the coast of China between the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea. She performed escort services and served on an antismuggling patrol between Korea and Japan. The destroyer returned to the United States on 28 March 1946, went into reserve at San Diego on 12 May 1947, and was decommissioned in August 1949.

During the build-up of the fleet in the wake of the North Korean invasion of South Korea in late June 1950, Alfred A. Cunni77gham was recommissioned on 5 October 1950-Comdr. L. P. Spear in command—and joined the Pacific Fleet. Following training exercises, the destroyer got underway for the western Pacific (WestPac) on 2 January 1951. Cunningham was involved in a variety of operations, principally serving with Task Force (TF) 77, the fast carrier task force, off the coast of Korea.

Early in this deployment, on 18 February 1951, the shin was released from her Bird Dog" station (plane guard) with TF 77 to carry out a night shore bombardment mission on "targets of opportunity" near Tanchon, on the east coast of Korea. Cunninpham arrived on station at 2130 and opened fire conducting harassing and interdictory fire; her targets included railroad tracks, two grade crossings, a tunnel, andlights on the road leading south. After expending 90 rounds of 5-inch, the destroyer ceased fire at 0605 on the 19th.

Returning to San Diego on 4 September 1951, Alfred A. Cunningham again sailed for the Far I :ast in March 1952. As before she steamed with the fast carrier task force off Korea and performed shore bombardment missions. On 19 September, the destroyer was operating in Task Element 95.22 (the "Songjin Element") to prevent the movement of trains along the railroad at that point by preventing clearance of the roadbed and repair during the day and destroying trains at night. Patrolling some 6,000 yards offthe beach at about 1340, Alfred A. Cunningham fired on workers she had seen in that vicinity. A little over an hour later, detecting workmen at a tunnel, the destroyer stood in toward the shoreline, turning slowly to starboard to take a northeasterly course to fire on the workmen at the tunnel mouth.

At that point, at least three enemy guns opened fre on the ship. The frst salvo was a direct hit, on the main deck, starboard side; several pieces of shrapnel penetrated the shield of mount 51 and wounded three of the mount's crew. Two air bursts followed in quick succession, one on either side of the bridge. Within two minutes time, the North Korean guns had registered four more direct hits and at least seven air bursts near the ship.

One shell penetrated into the forward fire room, destroying a forced-draft blower, shrapnel holed a nearby bulkhead. Another shell struck a depth charge on the forward K-gun, blowing the charge apart and scattering burning TNT as far aft as the fantail shrapnel from this hit set another depth charge afire, and ruptured four others. The fourth hit on the starboard side two feet below the main deck shrapnel from this hit caused extensive damage to the motor whaleboat. The last shell to hit struck about two feet below the waterline, but did not penetrate. The air bursts near the bridge rendered the SG radar inoperative.

Immediately, one of the ship's 3-inch mounts opened up to return the shore battery's fire, expending both hoppers full (ten rounds); these rounds landed in the target area but did not slow the enemy's rate of fire.

With Alfred A. Cunningham under fire, Lt. Frederick F. Palmer, USNR, the officer of the deck, sounded the general alarm, ordered the rudder shifted to left full, rang up the port engine back emergency full, starboard engine ahead flank, in order to come left and open the range.

Although mount 53 had reported a fire on the starboard K-guns the blast from the guns of that mount and the nearby 3-inch mount, 34, prevented a repair party from approaching the blaze from that angle. Men from another damage control party got to the fire and battled the blaze, while as the ship sped to seaward weaving but keeping at least one main battery mount bearing on the target guns at all times.

As the ship opened the range to 9,000 yards and worked up to 26.5 knots, Ens. Charles E. Dennis, USNR, Chief Torpedoman William J. Bohrman; and Electrian's Mate 2d Class Victor J. Leonard manhandled one burning depth charge over the side performing this task at great personal risk while the fire on the K-guns was being brought under control. All three men were later recommended for the award of the Bronze Star.

Having suffered 13 men wounded, principally to shrapnel Alfred A. Cunningham pulled out of range and stood down from general quarters, steering toward Yang Do Island to receive medical assistance from HMS Charity. After emergency repairs, Alfred A. Cunningham was able to continue her combat operations. Cunningham ultimately returned to the United States and reached her new home port, Long Beach, Calif, on 6 November.

Alfred A. Cunningham operated in the southern California area through the first five months of 1953 before getting underway on 13 June for another WestPac deployment. During her five months in the Far East, Alfred A. Cunningham operated twice with TF 77. The first of these periods saw her escorting the heavy cruiser Bremerton (CA-130). On 29 and 30 July 1953 Alfred A. Cunningham participated, with Bremerton and other United States Navy ships, in the search and rescue effort to recover the crew of a Boeing RB-50 that had crashed in the Sea of Japan. The searching ships managed to recover only the co-pilot.

The destroyer also participated in intensive antisubmarine (ASW) warfare exercises with TG 96.7 and joined in operations near Taiwan with other ships of Destrover Division (DesDiv) 131. She returned to Long Beach on 20 December 1953

A regular overhaul kept her at the Mare Island Naval Ship- from February through April 1954. Then, after two months of training, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway for WestPac on 10 August. En route, she stopped at Pearl Harbor for gunnery and antisubmarine exercises and then continued on to Yokosuka, Japan. Cunningham joined TG 70.2 for maneuvers and division exercises and made two brief port visits to Manila. Next she operated with TF 72 as a part of a patrol in the Taiwan Strait. Cunningham then escorted Yorktown (CV-10) to Hong Kong and on to Manila, where she spent the holiday season.

Alfred A. Cunningham continued her work as planeguard for Yorktown into 1955, and returned to Long Beach on 6 February. After a leave and upkeep peiod she resumed operations off the California coast. On 11 May, the destroyer took part in Operation "Wigwam."

Following five months of preparation, Alfred A. Cunningham departed the west coast on 11 October, bound for Japan. She made fuel stops at Pearl Harbor and Midway en route to Yokosuka. Upon completion of voyage repairs, the destroyer joined TF 77 for three weeks of duty, broken once by a port call at Kobe, Japan. Cunningham spent the Christmas holidays at Yokosuka.

Antisubmarine exercises were her first assignment of 1956 before she proceeded, via Subic Bay, to join the Taiwan Strait patrol for a fortnight. Then the destroyer visited Hong Kong and stopped briefly in Yokosuka for repairs before sailing for home. After arriving at Long Beach on 31 March, she entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard in May for an overhaul which was followed by two months of underway training out of San Diego. On 6 November, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway to escort Bremerton to Melbourne, Australia, where the ships participated in festivities surrounding the XVI Olympic Games. After 10 days in that port, the destroyer sailed for Yokosuka.

In January 1957, Alfred A. Cunningham took part in exercises near Chinhae, Korea, with ships of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy. She then joined TF 77 in the South China Sea for plane-guard duty. This work was followed by another stint with the Taiwan Strait patrol. Cunningham made stops at Subic Bay, Hong Kong, and Yokosuka before sailing for the Umted States.

She arrived at Long Beach on 12 May and devoted the next few months to air defense, hunter/killer operations, and shore bombardment exercises along the California coast. In December the destroyer entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for an availability.

On 13 January 1958, AlJred A. Cunningham sailed for another Far East tour. Following stops at Pearl Harbor, Pago Pago American Samoa; and Wellington, New Zealand, the destroyer arrived at Hobart, Tasmania, on 7 February. There, the members of her crew were graciously entertained by officials of the Royal Hobart Regatta.

On 12 February, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway for Guam where she received two weeks of repair work. The destroyer then shifted to Yokosuka, arriving on 1 April. During the following months, the ship took part in numerous exercises escorting and and screening Ticonderoga (CV-14) and other warships. During the cruise, she visited Hong Kong, Subic Bay and Buckner Bay, Okinawa, before arriving back at Long Beach on 21 July. In early September, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for overhaul. She left drydock in early December and spent the holidays in leave and upkeep.

The destroyer held refresher training during the first three months of 1959, departed Long Beach on 28 March, and steamed to Yokosuka. On 15 April, she left that port in company with Shangri-La (CVA 38) to take part in Exercise "Sea Turtle," off the coast of Korea.

Late in May, Alfred A. Cunningham assisted in Exercise "Granite Creek." After a visit to Hong Kong, she returned to Yokosuka for an availability to prepare for the voyage home where she arrived on 27 August. The ship spent the rest of the year participating in gunnery exercises, ASW exercises, and acting as a school ship for Fleet Training Group, Pacific.

In January 1960, Alfred A. Cunningham took part in STRIKEX 30 60. On 1 February, she became a unit of DesDiv 132 and was assigned to TG 14.7, a hunter/killer group. From 1 February to 7 May, the destroyer trained with that unit in the eastern Pacific.

Leaving Long Beach on 17 May with Destroyer Squadron 13 and Hornet (CVS-12), Alfred A. Cunningham proceeded to Pearl Harbor where she arrived on 23 May. The force remained in Hawaiian waters conducting ASW exercises until their depar- on 5 July. The destroyer reached Kobe, Japan, on 16 July and began an upkeep period. She next sailed for ASW operations in the area off Ukinawa, conducting these until 29 August, when the ship entered Subic Bay. Except for two brief visits to Hong Kong, she remained in the Subic Bay area until 3 December when she sailed for Yokosuka. After a brief upkeep period, the ship left on a return voyage to the west coast, arriving at Long Beach on 18 December.

In late Januarv 1961, the ship entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a fleet rehabilitation and modernization (FRAM) overnaul. She held sea trials in July and August and resumed operations on 22 September. On 9 October, she sailed for Seattle. lhe ship conducted sound trials in Puget Sound from 12 to 20 October and then returned to Long Beach, whence she held refresher training in San Diego waters with the fleet training group from 30 October through 8 December.

Throughout the first five months of 1962, Alfred A. Cunningham alternated periods at sea with upkeep in her home port. On 7 June, she departed the west coast for a six-month WestPac cruise. Upon her arrival at Pearl Harbor on 13 June, the destroyer conducted ASW operations off Oahu before proceeding on to Yokosuka. In August, the destroyer took part in combined operations with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and made port calls at Kure Kobe, and Sasebo, before returning to Yokosuka on 31 October. She got underway again on 3 November for patrol duty in the Strait of Tsushima and, after completing this task on 14 November, sailed via Hong Kong to Subic Bay. On 2 December the ship participated in a weapons demonstration, then began her voyage back to the United States, arriving at Long Beach on 21 December.

The destroyer spent the first three months of 1963 in local operations. On 1 April, she became a part of DesDiv 232 and spent April and May in availability at San Diego. Putting to sea in early June, she began a series of intensive ASW training exercises. In August, Alfred A. Cunningham sailed north with Carrier Division 19 on a goodwill and training cruise to Seattle and the Alaskan ports of Skagway and Dutch Harbor. After a month back at Long Beach, the destroyer got underway for Pearl Harbor and several weeks of ASW operations. She returned to Long Beach in December for leave and upkeep.

On 20 February 1964, the ship left Long Beach in company with the other ships of DesDiv 232 for a six-month WestPac tour. Reaching Pearl Harbor on 28 February, Alfred A. Cunoperated locally until sailing for the Far East on 23 March. Soon after leaving Hawaii, the destroyer took part in Operation "Crazy Horse,' off the coast of Okinawa. On 7 April, the ship began a week of upkeep in Yokosuka. Other ports of call during this deployment included Kure, Sasebo, and Hong Kong. From 9 June to 4 July, the ship operated out of Kaohsiung Taiwan, on the Taiwan Strait patrol. Cunningham then steamed to the Sea of Japan for Operation "Crossed Tee," a joint operation with ships of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Then, following stops at Hakodate and Yokosuka, Japan, the destroyer arrived back in Long Beach on 11 August for leave, upkeep, and local operations. On 15 November, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for an overhaul.

Upon completion of this renewal effort on 15 March 1965, the ship departed Long Beach for seven weeks of refresher training in San Diego waters. Early in June, she embarked 30 midshipmen for a two-week training cruise in the Puget S6und area. On 12 August, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway for her 13th WestPac cruise. The ship stopped at Pearl Harbor for a twoweek ASW operation held southwest of Molokai. A fortnight's upkeep at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard ensued before the destroyer continued on to Yokosuka.

In October, Alfred A. Cunningham joined TF 77 for patrol and surveillance duties off the coast of North Vietnam and m the Gulf of Tonkin. Following a week of recreation in Hong Kong, the destroyer got underway on 10 November to steam to Kaohsiung, and operated out of that port on patrol in the Taiwan Strait. On 5 December, she proceeded through the Tsushima Strait into the Sea of Japan for a joint ASW exercise with ships of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy before returning to Sasebo for the Christmas holidays.

In January 1966, Alfred A. Cunningham again patrolled off the Vietnamese coast and provided naval gunfire support in the area of Quang Ngai, South Vietnam. The final weeks of her patrol were spent on radar picket station south of Hainan Island. After a brief respite at Yokosuka, the ship sailed back to the United States, reaching Long Beach on 3 March.

For the next seven months, she held numerous training operations and availability periods but was underway west again on 4 November, bound for Oahu on the first leg of her deployment. Once in Hawaiian waters, the destroyer held exercises with combined American and Canadian forces and then continued on to Yokosuka for a brief upkeep period before sailing to the Taiwan Strait for atrol duty.

Alfred A. .. Cunningharm moceeded to the Gulf of Tonkin early in January 1967 to serve as a planeguard for Bennington (CVS-20) to assist in recovering downed aviators. In February, the ship was assigned to Operation "Sea Dragon," a logistics interdiction effort in the coastal waters of North Vietnam, and continued this duty into April. Another stint of service in the Taiwan Strait followed, lasting from 6 to 12 April. On the 28th of that month the destroyer sailed for home where she spent one and a half months preparing for an overhaul. She entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 14 July and underwent extensive repairs and alterations. Upon completion of the yard work in November Alfred A. Cunningham spent a month in independent steaming and undergoing tender availability.

The destroyer began 1968 with refresher training in San Diego and then was deployed once more to southeast Asian waters. She repeated her former pattern of planeguard and search and rescue operations off the Vietnamese coast. On 23 October, the ship set course for home, made fueling stops at Midway and Pearl Harbor, and arrived back in Long Beach on 9 November.

On 2 January 1969, Alfred A. Cunningham took part in Operation "Quickstart," and planeguarded for Oriskany (CVA-34). The destroyer maintained a full schedule of exercises and availability periods until 1 July, when a shaft bearing casualty caused her to enter the Todd Shipyard at San Pedro, Calif, for repairs.

Emerging from drydock on 6 September, Alfred A. Cunningham began an intensive one-month period of preparations for deployment. The destroyer left Long Beach in early October and sailed to Pearl Harbor for refueling, she then conducted DOrt calls at Yokosuka, Buckner Bay, and Subic Bay. On 14 November the destroyer stood out of Subic Bay for duty off Vietnam. From l9 November until 4 December, she supported forces ashore with fire from her 5-inch guns. On 5 December, she joined Hancock (CV-19) on "Yankee Station" and remained there until the 20th when she headed for Sasebo for the holidays.

Alfred A. Cunningham began the year of 1970 with ASW and flight operations in Okinawan waters which were followed by a five-day visit to Hong Kong. On 17 January, she sailed to ioin Constellation (CVA 64) on "Yankee Station" and remained dn this assignment until 21 February when the ship paid a brief visit to Kaohsiung. The destroyer sailed on 21 March to return to Long Beach. Upon her arrival on 9 April, she began a leave and upkeep period and then resumed operations in the southern California area in May. She spent the early summer months in training exercises and a midshipman training cruise. On 7 August, slated for inavctivation, Alfred A. Cunningham unloaded all her ammunition at Seal Beach, Calif.

Decommissioned on 24 February 1971, Alfred A. Cunningham was placed in reserve. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 February 1974. Utilized as a target for weapons tests off the coast of southern California, she was sunk after being hit with five laser-guided bombs on 12 October 1979.

Alfred A. Cunningham earned one battle star for World War II service, six battle stars for Korean action, and seven battle stars for Vietnam service.


Early life and career [ edit | edit source ]

Cunningham was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His interest in aviation began in 1903 when he watched a balloon ascend one afternoon. The next time the balloon went up he was in it and from then on he was considered himself a "confirmed aeronautical enthusiast". Α] He enlisted in the 3rd Georgia Volunteer Infantry regiment during the Spanish-American War and served a tour of occupation duty in Cuba. He spent the next decade selling real estate in Atlanta. During this time evinced an interest in aeronautics, making a balloon ascent in 1903.

At the age of twenty-seven, he returned to the military life, mostly because he thought that he would be given the opportunity to fly. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on 25 January 1909.


World War II

Following shakedown training out of Bermuda, Alfred A. Cunningham returned to New York on 17 January 1945 for post-shakedown availability. Proceeding to Norfolk soon thereafter, the destroyer spent the next three months operating in the Chesapeake Bay area as a training ship for prospective destroyer crews. Here the ship introduced hundreds of trainees to life on board a destroyer, engaging in gunnery exercises, damage control drills, and maneuvering practice.

Following a brief availability for repairs and alterations at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Cunningham got underway on 7 May, and rendezvoused with the new heavy cruiser USS Chicago (CA-136) off Brown Shoals, Delaware Bay, and proceeded with that ship to Chesapeake Bay for gunnery exercises. The two warships then steamed to Guantanamo Bay, then Panama, transiting the canal on 18 May, and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 31 May. Over the next two weeks, Cunningham remained in Hawaiian waters, undergoing an availability alongside the USS Black Hawk (AD-9) and carrying out training.

On 13 June, the destroyer joined Task Group (TG) 12.4 and sailed for the western Pacific. A week later, while en route, Cunningham screened carriers launching air strikes on Japanese-held Wake Island. The group arrived at Leyte on 26 June.

Cunningham got underway the following day for Okinawa, and while en route to her destination conducted a depth charge attack on what she evaluated as a "good" submarine contact, but with negative results. Shortly after arriving at Okinawa on 29 June, she served on radar picket duty off the island's southwest coast. From 1 July until the end of hostilities she served on patrol, escort, and screening duty in waters surrounding the Ryukyus. Following Japan's capitulation, Cunningham remained in the Far East, operating off the coast of China between the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea. She performed escort services and served on an antismuggling patrol between Korea and Japan. The destroyer returned to the United States on 28 March 1946, went into reserve at San Diego on 12 May 1947, and was decommissioned in August 1949.

Korea

During the build up of the fleet in the wake of the North Korean invasion of South Korea in late June 1950, Alfred A. Cunningham was recommissioned on 5 October 1950, Commander L. P. Spear in command, and joined the Pacific Fleet. Following training exercises, the destroyer got underway for the western Pacific (WestPac) on 2 January 1951. Cunningham was involved in a variety of operations, principally serving with Task Force (TF) 77, the fast carrier task force, off the coast of Korea.

Early in this deployment, on 18 February 1951, the ship was released from her "Bird Dog" station (plane guard) with TF 77 to carry out a night shore bombardment mission on "targets of opportunity" near Tanchon, on the east coast of Korea. Cunningham arrived on station at 2130 and opened fire, conducting harassing and interdictory fire her targets included railroad tracks, two grade crossings, a tunnel, and lights on the road leading south. After expending 90 rounds of 5-inch, the destroyer ceased fire at 0605 on the 19th.

Returning to San Diego on 4 September 1951, Cunningham again sailed for the Far East in March 1952. As before, she steamed with the fast carrier task force off Korea and performed shore bombardment missions. On 19 September, the destroyer was operating in Task Element 95.22 (the "Songjin Element") to prevent the movement of trains along the railroad at that point by preventing clearance of the roadbed and repair during the day, and destroying trains at night. Patrolling some 6,000 yards off the beach at about 1340, Cunningham fired on workers she had seen in that vicinity. A little over an hour later, detecting workmen at a tunnel, the destroyer stood in toward the shoreline, turning slowly to starboard to take a northeasterly course to fire on the workmen at the tunnel mouth.

At that point, at least three enemy guns opened fire on the ship. The first salvo was a direct hit, on the main deck, starboard side several pieces of shrapnel penetrated the shield of mount 51 and wounded three of the mount's crew. Two air bursts followed in quick succession, one on either side of the bridge. Within two minutes time, the North Korean guns had registered four more direct hits and at least seven air bursts near the ship.

One shell penetrated into the forward fire room, destroying a forced-draft blower shrapnel holed a nearby bulkhead. Another shell struck a depth charge on the forward K-gun, blowing the charge apart and scattering burning TNT as far aft as the fantail shrapnel from this hit set another depth charge afire, and ruptured four others. The fourth hit on the starboard side, two feet below the main deck shrapnel from this hit caused extensive damage to the motor whaleboat. The last shell to hit struck about two feet below the waterline, but did not penetrate. The air bursts near the bridge rendered the SG radar inoperative.

Immediately, one of the ship's 3-inch mounts opened up to return the shore battery's fire, expending both hoppers full (ten rounds) these rounds landed in the target area but did not slow the enemy's rate of fire.

With Cunningham under fire, Lieutenant Frederick F. Palmer, USNR, the officer of the deck, sounded the general alarm, ordered the rudder shifted to left full, rang up the port engine back emergency full, starboard engine ahead flank, in order to come left and open the range.

Although mount 53 had reported a fire on the starboard K-guns, the blast from the guns of that mount and the nearby 3-inch mount, 34, prevented a repair party from approaching the blaze from that angle. Men from another damage control party got to the fire and battled the blaze, while as the ship sped to seaward, weaving but keeping at least one main battery mount bearing on the target guns at all times.

As the ship opened the range to 9,000 yards and worked up to 26.5 knots, Ensign Charles E. Dennis, USNR Chief Torpedoman William J. Bohrman and Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Victor J. Leonard manhandled one burning depth charge over the side, performing this task at great personal risk while the fire on the K-guns was being brought under control. All three men were later recommended for the award of the Bronze Star.

Having suffered 13 men wounded, principally to shrapnel, Cunningham pulled out of range and stood down from general quarters, steering toward Yang Do Island to receive medical assistance from Charity. After emergency repairs, Cunningham was able to continue her combat operations. Cunningham ultimately returned to the United States and reached her new home port, Long Beach, California, on 6 November.

Cunningham operated in the southern California area through the first five months of 1953 before getting underway on 13 June for another WestPac deployment. During her five months in the Far East, Cunningham operated twice with TF 77. The first of these periods saw her escorting the heavy cruiser Bremerton. On 29 and 30 July 1953, Cunningham participated, with Bremerton and other United States Navy ships, in the search and rescue effort to recover the crew of a Boeing RB-50 that had crashed in the Sea of Japan. The searching ships managed to recover only the co-pilot.

The destroyer also participated in intensive antisubmarine warfare (ASW) exercises with TG 96.7 and joined in operations near Taiwan with other ships of Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 131. She returned to Long Beach on 20 December 1953.

A regular overhaul kept her at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard from February through April 1954. Then, after two months of training, Cunningham got underway for WestPac on 10 August. En route, she stopped at Pearl Harbor for gunnery and antisubmarine exercises and then continued on to Yokosuka, Japan. Cunningham joined TG 70.2 for maneuvers and division exercises and made two brief port visits to Manila. Next she operated with TF 72 as a part of a patrol in the Taiwan Strait. Cunningham then escorted Yorktown to Hong Kong and on to Manila, where she spent the holiday season.

Cunningham continued her work as plane guard for Yorktown into 1955, and returned to Long Beach on 6 February. After a leave and upkeep period, she resumed operations off the California coast. On 11 May, the destroyer took part in Operation "WigWam."

Following five months of preparation, Cunningham departed the west coast on 11 October, bound for Japan. She made fuel stops at Pearl Harbor and Midway en route to Yokosuka. Upon completion of voyage repairs, the destroyer joined TF 77 for three weeks of duty, broken once by a port call at Kobe, Japan. Cunningham spent the Christmas holidays at Yokosuka.

1956-1965

Antisubmarine exercises were her first assignment of 1956 before she proceeded, via Subic Bay, to join the Taiwan Strait patrol for a fortnight. Then the destroyer visited Hong Kong and stopped briefly in Yokosuka for repairs before sailing for home. After arriving at Long Beach on 31 March, she entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard in May for an overhaul which was followed by two months of underway training out of San Diego. On 6 November, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway to escort Bremerton to Melbourne, Australia, where the ships participated in festivities surrounding the XVI Olympic Games. After 10 days in that port, the destroyer sailed for Yokosuka.

In January 1957, Cunningham took part in exercises near Chinhae, Korea, with ships of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK). She then joined TF 77 in the South China Sea for plane-guard duty. This work was followed by another stint with the Taiwan Strait patrol. Cunningham made stops at Subic Bay, Hong Kong, and Yokosuka before sailing for the United States.

She arrived at Long Beach on 12 May and devoted the next few months to air defense, hunter/killer operations, and shore bombardment exercises along the California coast. In December, the destroyer entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for an availability.

On 13 January 1958, Cunningham sailed for another Far East tour. Following stops at Pearl Harbor Pago Pago, American Samoa and Wellington, New Zealand, the destroyer arrived at Hobart, Tasmania, on 7 February. There, the members of her crew were graciously entertained by officials of the Royal Hobart Regatta.

On 12 February, Cunningham got underway for Guam, where she received two weeks of repair work. The destroyer then shifted to Yokosuka, arriving on 1 April. During the following months, the ship took part in numerous exercises, escorting and screening Ticonderoga and other warships. During the cruise, she visited Hong Kong Subic Bay and Buckner Bay, Okinawa, before arriving back at Long Beach on 21 July. In early September, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for overhaul. She left drydock in early December and spent the holidays in leave and upkeep.

The destroyer held refresher training during the first three months of 1959, departed Long Beach on 28 March, and steamed to Yokosuka. On 15 April, she left that port in company with Shangri-La to take part in Exercise "Sea Turtle", off the coast of Korea.

Late in May, Cunningham assisted in Exercise "Granite Creek." After a visit to Hong Kong, she returned to Yokosuka for an availability to prepare for the voyage home where she arrived on 27 August. The ship spent the rest of the year participating in gunnery exercises, ASW exercises, and acting as a school ship for Fleet Training Group, Pacific.

In January 1960, Cunningham, took part in STRIKEX 30-60. On 1 February, she became a unit of DesDiv 132 and was assigned to TG 14.7, a hunter/killer group. From 1 February to 7 May, the destroyer trained with that unit in the eastern Pacific.

Leaving Long Beach on 17 May with Destroyer Squadron 13 and Hornet, Cunningham proceeded to Pearl Harbor where she arrived on 23 May. The force remained in Hawaiian waters conducting ASW exercises until their departure on 5 July. The destroyer reached Kobe, Japan, on 16 July and began an upkeep period. She next sailed for ASW operations in the area off Okinawa, conducting these until 29 August, when the ship entered Subic Bay. Except for two brief visits to Hong Kong, she remained in the Subic Bay area until 3 December, when she sailed for Yokosuka. After a brief upkeep period, the ship left on a return voyage to the west coast, arriving at Long Beach on 18 December.

In late January 1961, the ship entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a fleet rehabilitation and modernization (FRAM) overhaul. She held sea trials in July and August and resumed operations on 22 September. On 9 October, she sailed for Seattle. The ship conducted sound trials in Puget Sound from 12 to 20 October and then returned to Long Beach, whence she held refresher training in San Diego waters with the fleet training group from 30 October through 8 December.

Throughout the first five months of 1962, Cunningham alternated periods at sea with upkeep in her home port. On 7 June, she departed the west coast for a six-month WestPac cruise. Upon her arrival at Pearl Harbor on 13 June, the destroyer conducted ASW operations off Oahu before proceeding on to Yokosuka. In August, the destroyer took part in combined operations with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and made port calls at Kure, Kobe, and Sasebo, before returning to Yokosuka on 31 October. She got underway again on 3 November for patrol duty in the Strait of Tsushima and, after completing this task on 14 November, sailed via Hong Kong to Subic Bay. On 2 December, the ship participated in a weapons demonstration, then began her voyage back to the United States, arriving at Long Beach on 21 December.

The destroyer spent the first three months of 1963 in local operations. On 1 April, she became a part of DesDiv 232 and spent April and May in availability at San Diego. Putting to sea in early June, she began a series of intensive ASW training exercises. In August, Cunningham sailed north with Carrier Division 19 on a goodwill and training cruise to Seattle, and the Alaskan ports of Skagway and Dutch Harbor. After a month back at Long Beach, the destroyer got underway for Pearl Harbor and several weeks of ASW operations. She returned to Long Beach in December for leave and upkeep.

On 20 February 1964, the ship left Long Beach in company with the other ships of DesDiv 232 for a six-month WestPac tour. Reaching Pearl Harbor on 28 February, Cunningham operated locally until sailing for the Far East on 23 March. Soon after leaving Hawaii, the destroyer took part in Operation "Crazy Horse", off the coast of Okinawa. On 7 April, the ship began a week of upkeep in Yokosuka. Other ports of call during this deployment included Kure, Sasebo, and Hong Kong. From 9 June to 4 July, the ship operated out of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on the Taiwan Strait patrol. Alfred A. Cunningham. then steamed to the Sea of Japan for Operation "Crossed Tee", a joint operation with ships of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Then, following stops at Hakodate and Yokosuka, Japan, the destroyer arrived back in Long Beach on 11 August for leave, upkeep, and local operations. On 15 November, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for an overhaul.

Trivia: Featured in the 1964 Warner Brothers movie "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" with Don Knotts, Jack Weston and Andrew Duggan.

Upon completion of this renewal effort on 15 March 1965, the ship departed Long Beach for seven weeks of refresher training in San Diego waters. Early in June, she embarked 30 midshipmen for a two-week training cruise in the Puget Sound area. On 12 August, Cunningham got underway for her 13th WestPac cruise. The ship stopped at Pearl Harbor for a two-week ASW operation held southwest of Molokai. A fortnight's upkeep at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard ensued before the destroyer continued on to Yokosuka.

Vietnam

In October, Alfred A. Cunningham joined TF 77 for patrol and surveillance duties off the coast of North Vietnam and in the Gulf of Tonkin. Following a week of recreation in Hong Kong, the destroyer got underway on 10 November to steam to Kaohsiung, and operated out of that port on patrol in the Taiwan Strait. On 5 December, she proceeded through the Tsushima Strait into the Sea of Japan for a joint ASW exercise with ships of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy before returning to Sasebo for the Christmas holidays.

In January 1966, Cunningham again patrolled off the Vietnamese coast and provided naval gunfire support in the area of Quang Ngai, South Vietnam. The final weeks of her patrol were spent on radar picket station south of Hainan Island. After a brief respite at Yokosuka, the ship sailed back to the United States, reaching Long Beach on 3 March.

For the next seven months, she held numerous training operations and availability periods but was underway west again on 4 November, bound for Oahu on the first leg of her deployment. Once in Hawaiian waters, the destroyer held exercises with combined American and Canadian forces and then continued on to Yokosuka for a brief upkeep period before sailing to the Taiwan Strait for patrol duty.

Cunningham proceeded to the Gulf of Tonkin early in January 1967 to serve as a plane guard for Bennington to assist in recovering downed aviators. In February, the ship was assigned to Operation "Sea Dragon", a logistics interdiction effort in the coastal waters of North Vietnam, and continued this duty into April. Another stint of service in the Taiwan Strait followed, lasting from 6 to 12 April. On the 28th of that month, the destroyer sailed for home where she spent one and a half months preparing for an overhaul. She entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 14 July and underwent extensive repairs and alterations. Upon completion of the yard work in November, Cunningham spent a month in independent steaming and undergoing tender availability.

The destroyer began 1968 with refresher training in San Diego and then was deployed once more to southeast Asian waters. She repeated her former pattern of plane guard and search and rescue operations off the Vietnamese coast. On 23 October, the ship set course for home, made fueling stops at Midway and Pearl Harbor, and arrived back in Long Beach on 9 November.

On 2 January 1969, Cunningham took part in Operation "Quickstart", and plane guarded for Oriskany. The destroyer maintained a full schedule of exercises and availability periods until 1 July, when a shaft bearing casualty caused her to enter the Todd Shipyard at San Pedro, California, for repairs.

Emerging from drydock on 6 September, Cunningham began an intensive one-month period of preparations for deployment. The destroyer left Long Beach in early October and sailed to Pearl Harbor for refueling she then conducted port calls at Yokosuka, Buckner Bay, and Subic Bay. On 14 November, the destroyer stood out of Subic Bay for duty off Vietnam. From 19 November until 4 December, she supported forces ashore with fire from her 5-inch guns. On 5 December, she joined Hancock on "Yankee Station" and remained there until the 20th when she headed for Sasebo for the holidays.

Cunningham began the year of 1970 with ASW and flight operations in Okinawan waters which were followed by a five-day visit to Hong Kong. On 17 January, she sailed to join Constellation on "Yankee Station" and remained on this assignment until 21 February when the ship paid a brief visit to Kaohsiung. The destroyer sailed on 21 March to return to Long Beach. Upon her arrival on 9 April, she began a leave and upkeep period and then resumed operations in the southern California area in May. She spent the early summer months in training exercises and a midshipman training cruise, sailing from Long Beach to San Francisco, Victoria (Canada), Pearl Harbor, and then back to Long Beach. On 7 August, slated for inactivation, Cunningham unloaded all her ammunition at Seal Beach, California (USA).


USS Alfred A. Cunningham (DD 752)

Decommissioned 24 February 1971.
Stricken 1 February 1974.
Sunk as a target off the coast of California 12 October 1979.

Commands listed for USS Alfred A. Cunningham (DD 752)

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CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. Floyd Bertram Thomas Myhre, USN23 Nov 194427 Jan 1946

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Notable events involving Alfred A. Cunningham include:

17 Jan 1945
With her initial training at Bermuda completed USS Alfred A. Cunningham arrived at New York. The next three months she serves as a training ship for prospective destroyer crews.

7 May 1945
USS Alfred A. Cunningham departed from Norfolk bound for the Pacific.

18 May 1945
USS Alfred A. Cunningham transits the Panama Canal.

31 May 1945
USS Alfred A. Cunningham arrived at Pearl Harbor.

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Alferd A. Cunningham DD-752 - History

(DD-752: dp. 2,200 l. 376'6" b. 40'10", dp. 14'5", s. 34.2 k. cpl. 345 a. 6 5", 12 40mm., 20 20mm., 6 dcp., 2 dct., 10 21" tt., cl. Allen M. Sumner)

Alfred A. Cunningham (DD-752) was laid down on 23 February 1944 at Staten Island, N.Y., by the Bethlehem Steel Co., launched on 3 August 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Alfred A. Cunningham, the widow of Lt. Col. Cunningham and commissioned on 23 November 1944, Comdr. Floyd B. T. Myhre in command.

Following shakedown training out of Bermuda, Alfred A. Cunningham returned to New York on 17 January 1945 for post shakedown availability. Proceeding to Norfolk soon thereafter, the destroyer spent the next three months operating in the Chesapeake Bay area as a training ship for prospective destroyer crews. Here the ship introduced hundreds of trainees to life on board a destroyer, engaging in gunnery exercises, damage control drills, and maneuvering practice.

Following a brief availability for repairs and alterations at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway on 7 May, and rendezvoused with the new heavy cruiser Chicago (CA-136) off Brown Shoals, Delaware Bay, and proceeded with that ship to Chesapeake Bay for gunnery exercises. The two warships then steamed to Guantanamo Bay, thence to Panama transiting the isthmian waterway on 18 May, and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 31 May. Over the next two weeks, Alfred A. Cunningham remained m Hawaiian waters, undergoing an availability alongside Black Hawk (AD-9) and carrying out training.

On 13 June, the destroyer joined Task Group (TG) 12.4 and sailed for the western Pacific. A week later, while en route, Alfred A. Cunningham screened carriers launching air strikes on Japanese-held Wake Island. The group arrived at Leyte on 26 June.

Alfred A. Cunningham got underway the following day for Okinawa, and while en route to her destination conducted a depth charge attack on what she evaluated as a "good" submarine contact, but with negative results. Shortly after arriving at Okinawa on 29 June, she served on radar picket duty off the island's southwest coast. From 1 July until the end of hostilities she served on patrol, escort, and screening duty in waters surrounding the Ryukyus. Following Japan's capitulation, Alfred A. Cunningham remained in the Far East, operating off the coast of China between the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea. She performed escort services and served on an anti smuggling patrol between Korea and Japan. The destroyer returned to the United States on 28 March 1946, went into reserve at San Diego on 12 May 1947, and was decommissioned in August 1949.

During the build-up of the fleet in the wake of the North Korean invasion of South Korea in late June 1950, Alfred A. Cunningham was recommissioned on 5 October 1950, Comdr. L. P. Spear in command and joined the Pacific Fleet. Following training exercises, the destroyer got underway for the western Pacific (WestPac) on 2 January 1951. Alfred A. Cunningham was involved in a variety of operations, principally serving with Task Force (TF) 77, the fast carrier task force, off the coast of Korea

Early in this deployment, on 18 February 1951, the ship was released from her "Bird Dog" station (plane guard) with TF 77 to carry out a night shore bombardment mission on "targets of opportunity" near Tanchon, on the east coast of Korea. Alfred A. Cunningham arrived on station at 2130 and opened fire, conducting harassing and interdictory fire, her targets included railroad tracks, two grade crossings, a tunnel, and lights on the road leading south. After expending 90 rounds of 5-inch, the destroyer ceased fire at 0605 on the 19th.

Returning to San Diego on 4 September 1951, Alfred A. Cunningham again sailed for the Far East in March 1952. As before, she steamed with the fast carrier task force off Korea and performed shore bombardment missions. On 19 September, the destroyer was operating in Task Element 95.22 (the "Songjin Element") to prevent the movement of trains along the railroad at that point by preventing clearance of the roadbed and repair during the day, and destroying trains at night. Patrolling some 6,000 yards off the beach at about 1340, Alfred A. Cunningham fired on workers she had seen in that vicinity. A little over an hour later, detecting workmen at a tunnel, the destroyer stood in toward the shoreline, turning slowly to starboard to take a northeasterly course to fire on the workmen at the tunnel mouth.

At that point, at least three enemy guns opened fire on the ship The first salvo was a direct hit, on the main deck, starboard side, several pieces of shrapnel penetrated the shield of mount 51 and wounded three of the mount's crew. Two air bursts followed in quick succession, one on either side of the bridge. Within two minutes time the North Korean guns had registered four more direct hits and at least seven air bursts near the ship.

One shell penetrated into the forward fire room, destroying a forced- draft blower, shrapnel holed a nearby bulkhead. Another shell struck a depth charge on the forward K-gun, blowing the charge apart and scattering burning TNT as far aft as the fantail shrapnel from this hit set another depth charge afire, and ruptured four others. The fourth hit on the starboard side, two feet below the main deck, shrapnel from this hit caused extensive damage to the motor whaleboat. The last shell to hit struck about two feet below the waterline but did not penetrate. The air bursts near the bridge rendered the SG radar inoperative. Immediately, one of the ship's 3-inch mounts opened up to return the shore battery's fire, expending both hoppers full (ten rounds), these rounds landed in the target area but did not slow the enemy's rate of fire.

With Alfred A. Cunningham under fire, Lt. Frederick F. Palmer, USNR, the officer of the deck, sounded the general alarm, ordered the rudder shifted to left full, rang up the port engine back emergency full, starboard engine ahead flank, in order to come left and open the range.

Although mount 53 had reported a fire on the starboard K-guns the blast from the guns of that mount and the nearby 3- inch mount 34, prevented a repair party from approaching the blaze from that angle. Men from another damage control party got to the fire and battled the blaze, while as the ship sped to seaward, weaving but keeping at least one main battery mount bearing on the target guns at all times.

As the ship opened the range to 9,000 yards and worked up to 26.5 knots, Ens. Charles E. Dennis, USNR Chief Torpedoman William J. Bohrman and Electrian's Mate 2d Class Victor J. Leonard manhandled one burning depth charge over the side performing this task at great personal risk while the fire on the k-guns was being brought under control. All three men were later recommended for the award of the Bronze Star.

Having suffered 13 men wounded, principally to shrapnel, Alfred A. Cunningham pulled out of range and stood down from general quarters, steering toward Yang Do Island to receive medical assistance from HMS Charity. After emergency repairs Alfred A. Cunningham was able to continue her combat operations. Alfred A. Cunningham ultimately returned to the United States and reached her new home port, Long Beach, Calif., on 6 November

Alfred A. Cunningham operated in the southern California area through the first five months of 1953 before getting underway on 13 June for another WestPac deployment. During her five months in the Far East, Alfred A. Cunningham operated twice with TF 77. The first of these periods saw her escorting the heavy cruiser Bremerton (CA-130). On 29 and 30 July 1953, Alfred A. Cunningham participated, with Bremerton and other United States Navy ships, in the search and rescue effort to recover the crew of a Boeing RB-50 that had crashed in the Sea of Japan. The searching ships managed to recover only the copilot.

The destroyer also participated in intensive antisubmarine (ASW) warfare exercises with TG 96.7 and joined in operations near Taiwan with other ships of Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 131. She returned to Long Beach on 20 December 1953.

A regular overhaul kept her at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard from February through April 1954. Then, after two months of training, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway for WestPac on 10 August. En route, she stopped at Pearl Harbor for gunnery and antisubmarine exercises and then continued on to Yokosuka, Japan. Alfred A. Cunningham joined TG 70.2 for maneuvers and division exercises and made two brief port visits to Manila. Next she operated with TF 72 as a part of a patrol in the Taiwan Strait. Alfred A. Cunningham then escorted Yorktown (CV-10) to Hong Kong and on to Manila, where she spent the holiday season.

Alfred A. Cunningham continued her work as plane guard for Yorktown into 1955, and returned to Long Beach on 6 February. After a leave and upkeep period, she resumed operations off the California coast. On 11 May, the destroyer took part in Operation "Wigwam."

Following five months of preparation, Alfred A. Cunningham departed the west coast on 11 October, bound for Japan. She made fuel stops at Pearl Harbor and Midway en route to Yokosuka. Upon completion of voyage repairs, the destroyer joined TF 77 for three weeks of duty, broken once by a port call at Kobe, Japan. Alfred A. Cunningham spent the Christmas holidays at Yokosuka.

Antisubmarine exercises were her first assignment of 1956 before she proceeded, via Subic Bay, to join the Taiwan Strait patrol for a fortnight. Then the destroyer visited Hong Kong and stopped briefly in Yokosuka for repairs before sailing for home. After arriving at Long Beach on 31 March, she entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard in May for an overhaul which was followed by two months of underway training out of San Diego. On 6 November, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway to escort Bremerton to Melbourne, Australia, where the ships participated in festivities surrounding the XVI Olympic Games. After 10 days in that port, the destroyer sailed for Yokosuka.

In January 1957, Alfred A. Cunningham took part in exercises near Chinhae, Korea, with ships of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy. She then joined TF 77 in the South China Sea for plane-guard duty. This work was followed by another stint with the Taiwan Strait patrol. Alfred A. Cunningham made stops at Subic Bay, Hong Kong, and Yokosuka before sailing for the United States.

She arrived at Long Beach on 12 May and devoted the next few months to air defense, hunter/killer operations, and shore bombardment exercises along the California coast. In December the destroyer entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for an availability.

On 13 January 1958, Alfred A. Cunningham sailed for another Far East tour. Following stops at Pearl Harbor, Pago Pago American Samoa, and Wellington, New Zealand, the destroyer arrived at Hobart, Tasmania, on 7 February. There, the members of her crew were graciously entertained by officials of the Royal Hobart Regatta.

On 12 February, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway for Guam, where she received two weeks of repair work. The destroyer then shifted to Yokosuka, arriving on 1 April. During the following months, the ship took part in numerous exercises escorting and screening Ticonderoga (CV-14) and other warships. During the cruise, she visited Hong Kong, Subic Bay and Buckner Bay, Okinawa, before arriving back at Long Beach on 21 July. In early September, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for overhaul. She left drydock in early December and spent the holidays in leave and upkeep.

The destroyer held refresher training during the first three months of 1959, departed Long Beach on 28 March, and steamed to Yokosuka. On 15 April, she left that port in company with Shangri-La (CVA-38) to take part in Exercise "Sea Turtle," off the coast of Korea.

Late in May, Alfred A. Cunningham assisted in Exercise "Granite Creek." After a visit to Hong Kong, she returned to Yokosuka for an availability to prepare for the voyage home where she arrived on 27 August. The ship spent the rest of the year participating in gunnery exercises, ASW exercises, and acting as a school ship for Fleet Training Group, Pacific.

In January 1960, Alfred A. Cunningham took part in STRIKEX 30-60. On 1 February, she became a unit of DesDiv 132 and was assigned to TG 14.7, a hunter/killer group. From 1 February to 7 May, the destroyer trained with that unit in the eastern Pacific.

Leaving Long Beach on 17 May with Destroyer Squadron 13 and Hornet (CV-12), Alfred A. Cunningham proceeded to Pearl Harbor where she arrived on 23 May. The force remained in Hawaiian waters conducting AS exercises until their departure on 5 July. The destroyer reached Kobe, Japan, on 16 July and began an upkeep period. She next sailed for ASW operations in the area off Okinawa, conducting these until 29 August, when the ship entered Subic Bay. Except for two brief visits to Hong Kong, she remained in the Subic Bay area until 3 December, when she sailed for Yokosuka. After a brief upkeep period, the ship left on a return voyage to the west coast, arriving at Long Beach on 18 December.

In late January 1961, the ship entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a fleet rehabilitation and modernization (FRAM) overhaul. She held sea trials in July and August and resumed operations on 22 September. On 9 October, she sailed for Seattle. The ship conducted sound trials in Puget Sound from 12 to 20 October and then returned to Long Beach, whence she held refresher training in San Diego waters with the fleet training group from 30 October through 8 December.

Throughout the first five months of 1962, Alfred A. Cunningham alternated periods at sea with upkeep in her home port. On 7 June, she departed the west coast for a six-month WestPac cruise. Upon her arrival at Pearl Harbor on 13 June, the destroyer conducted ASW operations off Oahu before proceeding on to Yokosuka. In August, the destroyer took part in combined operations with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and made port calls at Kure, Kobe, and Sasebo, before returning to Yokosuka on 31 October. She got underway again on 3 November for patrol duty in the Strait of Tsushima and, after completing this task on 14 November, sailed via Hong Kong to Subic Bay. On 2 December the ship participated in a weapons demonstration, then began her voyage back to the United States, arriving at Long Beach on 21 December.

The destroyer spent the first three months of 1963 in local operations. On 1 April, she became a part of DesDiv 232 and spent April and May in availability at San Diego. Putting to sea in early June, she began a series of intensive ASW training exercises. In August, Alfred A. Cunningham sailed north with Carrier Division 19 on a goodwill and training cruise to Seattle and the Alaskan ports of Skagway and Dutch Harbor. After a month back at Long Beach, the destroyer got underway for Pearl Harbor and several weeks of ASW operations. She returned to Long Beach in December for leave and upkeep.

On 20 February 1964, the ship left Long Beach in company with the other ships of DesDiv 232 for a six-month WestPac tour. Reaching Pearl Harbor on 28 February, Alfred A. Cunningham operated locally until sailing for the Far East on 23 March. Soon after leaving Hawaii, the destroyer took part in Operation "Crazy Horse," off the coast of Okinawa. On 7 April the ship began a week of upkeep in Yokosuka. Other ports of call during this deployment included Kure, Sasebo, and Hong Kong. From 9 June to 4 July, the ship operated out of Kaohsiung Taiwan, on the Taiwan Strait patrol. Alfred A. Cunningham then steamed to the Sea of Japan for Operation "Crossed Tee," a joint operation with ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. Then, following stops at Hakodate and Yokosuka, Japan, the destroyer arrived back in Long Beach on 11 August for leave, upkeep, and local operations. On 15 November, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for an overhaul.

Upon completion of this renewal effort on 15 March 1965, the ship departed Long Beach for seven weeks of refresher training in San Diego waters. Early in June, she embarked 30 midshipmen for a two- week training cruise in the Puget Sound area. On 12 August, Alfred A. Cunningham got underway for her 13th WestPac cruise. The ship stopped at Pearl Harbor for a two week ASW operation held southwest of Molokai. A fortnight's upkeep at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard ensued before the destroyer continued on to Yokosuka.

In October, Alfred A. Cunningham joined TF 77 for patrol and surveillance duties off the coast of North Vietnam and in the Gulf of Tonkin. Following a week of recreation in Hong Kong, the destroyer got underway on 10 November to steam to Kaohsiung, and operated out of that port on patrol in the Taiwan Strait. On 5 December, she proceeded through the Tsushima Strait into the Sea of Japan for a joint ASW exercise with ships of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy before returning to Sasebo for the Christmas holidays.

In January 1966, Alfred A. Cunningham again patrolled off the Vietnamese coast and provided naval gunfire support in the area of Quang Ngai, South Vietnam. The final weeks of her patrol were spent on radar picket station south of Hainan Island After a brief respite at Yokosuka, the ship sailed back to the United States, reaching Long Beach on 3 March.

For the next seven months, she held numerous training operations and availability periods but was underway west again on 4 November, bound for Oahu on the first leg of her deployment. Once in Hawaiian waters, the destroyer held exercises with combined American and Canadian forces and then continued on to Yokosuka for a brief upkeep period before sailing to the Taiwan Strait for patrol duty.

Alfred A. Cunningham proceeded to the Gulf of Tonkin early in January 1967 to serve as a planeguard for Bennington (CVS-20) to assist in recovering downed aviators. In February, the ship was assigned to Operation "Sea Dragon," a logistics interdiction effort in the coastal waters of North Vietnam, and continued this duty into April. Another stint of service in the Taiwan Strait followed, lasting from 6 to 12 April. On the 28th of that month the destroyer sailed for home where she spent one and a half months preparing for an overhaul. She entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 14 July and underwent extensive repairs and alterations. Upon completion of the yard work in November Alfred A. Cunningham spent a month in independent steaming and undergoing tender availability.

The destroyer began 1968 with refresher training in San Diego and then was deployed once more to southeast Asian waters. She repeated her former pattern of planeguard and search and rescue operations off the Vietnamese coast. On 23 October, the ship set course for home, made fueling stops at Midway and Pearl Harbor, and arrived back in Long Beach on 9 November.

On 2 January 1969, Alfred A. Cunningham took part in Operation "Quickstart," and planeguarded for Oriskany (CVA-34). The destroyer maintained a full schedule of exercises and availability periods until 1 July, when a shaft bearing casualty caused her to enter the Todd Shipyard at San Pedro, Calif., for repairs.

Emerging from drydock on 6 September, Alfred A. Cunningham began an intensive one-month period of preparations for deployment. The destroyer left Long Beach in early October and sailed to Pearl Harbor for refueling she then conducted port calls at Yokosuka, Buckner Bay, and Subic Bay. On 14 November the destroyer stood out of Subic Bay for duty off Vietnam. From 19 November until 4 December, she supported forces ashore with fire from her 5-inch guns. On 5 December, she joined Hancock (CV-19) on "Yankee Station" and remained there until the 20th when she headed for Sasebo for the holidays.

Alfred A. Cunningham began the year of 1970 with ASW and flight operations in Okinawan waters which were followed by a five-day visit to Hong Kong. On 17 January, she sailed to join Constellation (CVA- 64) on "Yankee Station" and remained on this assignment until 21 February when the ship paid a brief visit to Kaohsiung. The destroyer sailed on 21 March to return to Long Beach. Upon her arrival on 9 April, she began a leave and upkeep period and then resumed operations in the southern California area in May. She spent the early summer months in training exercises and a midshipman training cruise. On 7 August, slated for inactivation, Alfred A. Cunningham unloaded all her ammunition at Seal Beach, Calif.

Decommissioned on 24 February 1971, Alfred A. Cunningham was placed in reserve. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 February 1974. Utilized as a target for weapons tests off the coast of southern California, she was sunk after being hit with five laser- guided bombs on 12 October 1979.

Alfred A. Cunningham earned one battle star for World War II service, six battle stars for Korean action, and seven battle stars for Vietnam service.


Welcome to the USS Alfred A Cunningham DD-752 Guestbook Forum

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Please view our commemorative USS Alfred A Cunningham DD-752 products in our Ship's Store!

Alan R Hanson
Years Served: 1969 to 1971
would like to know is there any shipmates left if so e-mail [email protected]

SMC CARL HANSBERRY (RET)
Years Served: MARCH 1962 to SEPTEMBER 1983
I served onboard A.A. Cunningham from 3/27/66 to 4/11/69. I reported onboard as a SM3 and left as SM2, transfered to the USS John Paul Jones DDG-32.

FTG1 William Meadows ret
Years Served: 5 May 1962 thru 16 Nov 1964
Yes, there is a few of us still out here.
Left the Alfred A and attended FTBSchool and a C school. Upon graduating received orders to join the USS Colett DD730 which operated of Vietnam.

HMC Dutch Weitz
Years Served: 1951 - 1954
Hi Shipmates. Served on the Alfred A. during Korea. Anyone else out there? 1951 - 1954

Ed Gillick GM2
Years Served: 1952-56
REunion Memphis ,Tn. Sept. 16-19, 2009 Ed

JG. DAVE VIERGEVER
Years Served: 53-55
alive and kikking in california

Glenn Wallace
Years Served:
Sad to report that Charles -Dutch- Weitz, HMC 1950-1954 passed away on February 5, 2009 at the age of 86 in Washington, DC. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 12, Grave 7951).

We have many of his sea album photos available to anyone interested. Please email [email protected]

Larry Chrisman
Years Served:
My father, Captain Dan M. Chrisman, who served on the USS AA Cunningham from 1950-52 recently passed away. I know that he had fond memories of his time aboard the Cunningham and had attended several of the ship's reunions. He is interred in the DFW National Cemetery.

Richard Robinson (Robbie)
Years Served: Nov. 1961 through Nov. 1963
I served in the shipfitter shop inder chief Sypel and was a close buddy with Selly. I have many fond memories of the ole Alfred A.
and have my room decorated with many memories or the old days aboard the Cunningham DD 752

Bob Mayer
Years Served: 1965-1968
Served as MM 3 if anyone remembers

John A Fornbacher
Years Served: 1945-1956
entering on behalf of my father who passed away John A. Fornbacher BM3? aboard early 1950s? Just wanting to know more or if anyone remembers him good, bad, differant. Sincerely, John Fornbacher Jr. USN SeaBees.

roy fugate
Years Served: served on the cunningham 1960 to 1964 i was in the BT room
looking for shipmates that served on the Alfred A Cunningham 752. I served 1960-1964 and im needing some guys to call me please 903 963 7011 and my cell number is 903 805 0393 related to health issues. i was in the boiler room thanks

served aboard the Cunningham from 1964-1967 as ship serviceman 3rd class. would enjoy hearing from some of crew during those years if still around.

1960� BT and Electrician

My dad, James “Jimmy” Joseph served from late ‘50s-early ‘60s on the Cunningham. I saw Rons post mentioning my Dad. I’m going to give him your phone number Ron he has been trying to get information about Chuck. He is planning on attending the USS Cunningham reunion this September in Missouri.

served aboard the afred a Cunningham 1959/ 1963. would like to hear from any guys from that time !

my brother chuck beavers served aboard thedd752 during the late 50s and early 60s this is ron 618 5530505chuck was an signalman and buddied with jimmy joseph


Supporter of Marine Corps aviation

As a Lieutenant, Alfred Cunningham retained an interest in aeronautics, he found at Philadelphia a likewise avid group of civilians and off-duty military men who harbored an interest in the same thing. He rented an airplane and gained permission from the Commandant of the Navy Yard to use an open field at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for test flights. He also joined the Aero Club of Philadelphia, and commenced "selling" Marine Corps aviation to members of the Aero Club, who, through their Washington connections, began to pressure a number of officials, including Major General Commandant William P. Biddle, himself a member of a prominent Philadelphia family.

Cunningham was an avid supporter in the new conceptual Advanced Base Force and though he saw a role for aircraft, requesting assignment to the Navy's flying school at Annapolis. [4] Cunningham served in the Marine guards of New Jersey (BB-16) and North Dakota (BB-29), and the receiving ship USS Lancaster, over the next two years.

In 1911, while he was stationed at the Marine Barracks, Philadelphia Navy Yard, he developed the inspiration to fly. Leasing a plane from a civilian aviator only $25 a month, he experimented in the airplane, nicknamed the "Noisy Nan". He was promoted to the rank and grade of 1st Lieutenant in September 1911. Although the plane never left the ground, his profound faith and love of flying was rewarded. On 16 May 1912, Cunningham received orders and stood detached from duty at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, and was ordered to the aviation camp the Navy had set up at United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, to learn to fly. He reported six days later, on 22 May 1912, which is recognized as the birthday of Marine Corps aviation. Actual flight training was given at the Burgess Plant at Marblehead, Massachusetts, because only the builders of planes could fly in those days and after two hours and forty minutes of instruction, Cunningham soloed on 20 August 1912. He flew the Curtiss seaplane and became Naval Aviator No. 5, and Smith became Naval Aviator No. 6. [5]

Between October 1912 and July 1913, Cunningham made some 400 flights in the Curtiss B-1, conducting training and testing tactics and aircraft capabilities. In August 1913, Cunningham sought detachment from aviation duty, on the grounds that his fiancée would not marry him unless he gave up flying. Although assigned duty as assistant quartermaster at the Marine Barracks at the Washington Navy Yard, the first Marine aviator continued to advocate Marine Corps aviation and contribute significantly to its growth.

By November 1913, the Navy Department had assigned Cunningham (and Smith) to return to the Advanced Base School with the understanding that they would create an aviation section for the force. [4] Cunningham performed important reconnaissance roles for the force, which was fully functionable by 1914. [6] Later, he served on a board, headed by Captain Washington I. Chambers, USN, tasked with drawing up a comprehensive plan for the organization of a naval aeronautical service. It was upon the recommendation of that board that the Naval Aeronautical Station at Pensacola, Florida, was established in 1914.

The following February, Cunningham was assigned duty at the Washington Navy Yard, assisting Naval Constructor Holden C. Richardson in working on the D-2 flying boat. Ordered to Pensacola for instruction in April 1915 (his wife apparently having relented in allowing her husband to fly), Cunningham was designated Naval Aviator No. 5 on 17 September 1915.


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Product Description

USS Alfred A Cunningham DD 752

1959 Cruise Book

Bring the Cruise Book to Life with this Multimedia Presentation

This CD will Exceed your Expectations

A great part of Naval history. (Most Sailors consider the cruise book one of their most valued treasures)

You would be purchasing the USS Alfred A Cunningham DD 752 cruise book during this time of peace. Each page has been placed on a CD for years of enjoyable computer viewing. The CD comes in a plastic sleeve with a custom label. Every page has been enhanced and is readable. Rare cruise books like this sell for a hundred dollars or more when buying the actual hard copy if you can find one for sale.

This would make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her. Usually only ONE person in the family has the original book. The CD makes it possible for other family members to have a copy also. You will not be disappointed we guarantee it.

Some of the items in this book are as follows:

  • Ports of Call: Pearl Harbor, Yokosuka, Okinawa, Subic Bay Philippines, Hiroshima, Hong Kond and Iwakuni
  • Divisional Group Photos with Names
  • Crew Activity Photos
  • Plus much more

Over 258 photos and the ships story told on 41 pages.

Once you view this CD you will know what life was like on this Destroyer during the Korean War.

Additional Bonus:

  • 6 Minute Audio of " Sounds of Boot Camp " in the late 50's early 60's
  • Other Interesting Items Include:
    • The Oath of Enlistment
    • The Sailors Creed
    • Core Values of the United States Navy
    • Military Code of Conduct
    • Navy Terminology Origins (8 Pages)
    • Examples: Scuttlebutt, Chewing the Fat, Devil to Pay,
    • Hunky-Dory and many more.

    Why a CD instead of a hard copy book?

    • The pictures will not be degraded over time.
    • Self contained CD no software to load.
    • Thumbnails, table of contents and index for easy viewing reference.
    • View as a digital flip book or watch a slide show. (You set the timing options)
    • Back ground patriotic music and Navy sounds can be turned on or off.
    • Viewing options are described in the help section.
    • Bookmark your favorite pages.
    • The quality on your screen may be better than a hard copy with the ability to magnify any page.
    • Full page viewing slide show that you control with arrow keys or mouse.
    • Designed to work on a Microsoft platform. (Not Apple or Mac) Will work with Windows 98 or above.

    Personal Comment from "Navyboy63"

    The cruise book CD is a great inexpensive way of preserving historical family heritage for yourself, children or grand children especially if you or a loved one has served aboard the ship. It is a way to get connected with the past especially if you no longer have the human connection.

    If your loved one is still with us, they might consider this to be a priceless gift. Statistics show that only 25-35% of sailors purchased their own cruise book. Many probably wished they would have. It's a nice way to show them that you care about their past and appreciate the sacrifice they and many others made for you and the FREEDOM of our country. Would also be great for school research projects or just self interest in Navy Ship documentation.

    We never knew what life was like for a sailor in World War II until we started taking an interest in these great books. We found pictures which we never knew existed of a relative who served on the USS Essex CV 9 during World War II. He passed away at a very young age and we never got a chance to hear many of his stories. Somehow by viewing his cruise book which we never saw until recently has reconnected the family with his legacy and Naval heritage. Even if we did not find the pictures in the cruise book it was a great way to see what life was like for him. We now consider these to be family treasures. His children, grand children and great grand children can always be connected to him in some small way which they can be proud of. This is what motivates and drives us to do the research and development of these great cruise books. I hope you can experience the same thing for your family.

    If you have any questions please send us an E-mail prior to purchasing.

    Buyer pays shipping and handling. Shipping charges outside the US will vary by location.

    Check our feedback. Customers who have purchased these CD's have been very pleased with the product.

    This CD is for your personal use only

    Copyright © 2003-2010 Great Naval Images LLC. All rights reserved.


    Asbestos Exposure on the USS Alfred A. Cunningham

    The USS Alfred A. Cunningham was an Allen M. Sumner-class Destroyer commissioned by the U.S. Navy in November of 1944. Built during World War II by Bethlehem Steel in Staten Island, NY, the vessel measured just over 376 feet fore-to-aft, and held a complement of 336 officers and men.

    It was a member of the Pacific Fleet during the war, earning one battle star for its service. Following the Allied victory, the ship conducted operations in the Korean War for which it earned six battle stars, and the conflict in Vietnam, where it earned seven. It served for nearly thirty years, and was decommissioned in February 1971.

    Veterans who served aboard the USS Alfred A. Cunningham were likely exposed to asbestos during the course of their regular duty. U.S. Navy ships built prior to the 1970’s used asbestos in much of the equipment on board, including boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components.

    Materials including gaskets and packing were also often made from asbestos. Many of these asbestos products were concentrated in the boiler and engine spaces, putting Boiler Tenders, Machinist’s Mates, Firemen, and others who worked in these areas in particularly dangerous working conditions.

    The companies who manufactured these asbestos products were often aware of the diseases asbestos could cause, but did nothing to warn the veterans serving on the USS Alfred A. Cunningham and other ships from the era. This negligence led many Navy veterans to develop deadly diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.

    Victims of asbestos who served in the U.S. Navy have a right to seek compensation, and will not sacrifice their VA benefits by doing so. Settlements can offset or cover the overwhelming costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering.

    The law limits the time in which a lawsuit may be filed however, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after a diagnosis is made.


    Our Newsletter

    Product Description

    USS Alfred A Cunningham DD 752

    "Personalized" Canvas Ship Print

    (Not just a photo or poster but a work of art!)

    Every sailor loved his ship. It was his life. Where he had tremendous responsibility and lived with his closest shipmates. As one gets older his appreciation for the ship and the Navy experience gets stronger. A personalized print shows ownership, accomplishment and an emotion that never goes away. It helps to show your pride even if a loved one is no longer with you. Every time you walk by the print you will feel the person or the Navy experience in your heart (guaranteed).

    The image is portrayed on the waters of the ocean or bay with a display of her crest if available. The ships name is printed on the bottom of the print. What a great canvas print to commemorate yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her.

    The printed picture is exactly as you see it. The canvas size is 8"x10" ready for framing as it is or you can add an additional matte of your own choosing. You also have the option to purchase a larger picture size (11"x 14") on a 13" X 19" canvas. The prints are made to order. They look awesome when matted and framed .

    We PERSONALIZE the print with "Name, Rank and/or Years Served" or anything else you would like it to state (NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE). It is placed just above the ships photo. After purchasing the print simply email us or indicate in the notes section of your payment what you would like printed on it.

    United States Navy Sailor YOUR NAME HERE Proudly Served Sept 1963 - Sept 1967

    This would make a nice gift and a great addition to any historic military collection. Would be fantastic for decorating the home or office wall.

    The watermark "Great Naval Images" will NOT be on your print.

    This photo is printed on Archival-Safe Acid-Free canvas using a high resolution printer and should last many years.

    Because of its unique natural woven texture canvas offers a special and distinctive look that can only be captured on canvas. The canvas print does not need glass thereby enhancing the appearance of your print, eliminating glare and reducing your overall cost.

    We guarantee you will not be disappointed with this item or your money back. In addition, We will replace the canvas print unconditionally for FREE if you damage your print. You would only be charged a nominal fee plus shipping and handling.


    Watch the video: Life on USS Independence CV 62